Boxing legend Smokin’ Joe Frazier passed away late Monday evening shortly after being diagnosed with liver cancer. The world famous heavyweight was 67 years old.
Frazier, a hero in his hometown of Philadelphia, was known for his aggressive, hard-hitting style. Columnist Bill Lyon summarized Frazier’s fighting style like this:
“He was swarming and unrelenting, and he prided himself that he never took a backward step, and he reduced the Sweet Science to this brutal bit of elemental math: ‘I’ll let you hit me five times if you’ll let me hit you just once.'”
Frazier is known by many as the man who dealt the legendary Muhammad Ali his first ever defeat. It happened at the 1971 “Fight of the Century,” where Frazier downed Ali with a big left hook in the 15th round. The two boxing greats continued to give the world great matches with a rematch in 1974 (which Ali won in a decision) and 1975’s classic “Thrilla in Manilla.”
The sports world (and many others) have mourned the death of Frazier since the news was announced late Monday, with boxer Floyd Mayweather making a particularly interesting offer on Twitter:
RIP Smokin Joe. My thoughts and prayers go out to to the Frazier family. We lost an all time great tonight.
#TheMoneyTeam will pay for his Funeral services.My Condolences go out to the family of the late great Joe Frazier.
Smokin’ Joe’s Facebook and Twitter accounts asked that fans post their thoughts and memories, and many of them have been posted on Frazier’s official site.
He obviously meant quite a bit to many people:
When i was a kid i heard a radio interview with smokin joe. my dad was a goldenglove and loved joe. he sat me down so we could hear the whole thing. from that day forth i was a boxing fan. smokin joe made a fan for life with his interview. thanks joe to this day im a fan – Tailyn, from Facebook.
The greatest and most gracious heavyweight champion ever to grace the ring in my humble opinion.When I tell my kids about boxing legends,Joe Frazier comes above everyone.I hope by telling them the truth that I can keep Joe at the forefront of future generations’ thoughts. Godspeed, big man – Paul, from Facebook
Other well-known people took to Twitter to express their condolences for the loss of Frazier:
As a HUGE boxing fan it saddens me that Smokin’ Joe Frazier is no longer with us. He and Ali made boxing special when I was a kid.
“Life doesn’t run away from nobody. Life runs at people.”
– “Smokin” Joe Frazier 1/12/1944 – 11/7/2011 #MissUChamp
A Philadelphia legend and a great champion he was! R.I.P. Smoking’ Joe
Yes,we have lost a great,great Champion..Joe Frazier! His trilogy of battles with Ali,was the greatest sports event of the 20th century.
#SmokinJoe !!!!! 1 of the Greatest EVER!!! RT to da World!We’re Gonna Miss you Joe Frazier!!!! RIP
Never really followed boxing much, but have tremendous respect for Joe Frazier and the way he fought. Those heavywieghts were true warriors
RIP smokin Joe Frazier
One if the greatest fighters of all time
WAKE UP. Blessings and Prayers.We Lost A Giant Yesterday-Heavyweight Champion SMOKIN’ JOE FRAZIER.When I Was A Kid I Cried When Joe Beat Ali
What are your memories of Smokin’ Joe? Let us know in the comments. And head on over to Famous Dead to express your condolences.